Ultimate Guideline to Still Life Photography Ideas, Tips, and Composition

Still Life Photography Ideas – In this article, you will learn how to shoot a still life photoshoot tips and technique, find a creative object of still life photography ideas, shoot still life ideas at home and camera settings, and many more.

Still life is a unique kind of photography. One thing that makes it so interesting is the object is sometimes not incredible. They’re all everyday objects that you don’t usually pay that much attention to.

It means to be a master in still life photography, and you have to figure out how to make your pictures entertaining. That also signifies it’s a perfect style of photography to develop skills.

By performing various arrangements, lighting, and compositions, still life photographers can bring new life to their objects.

If you want to do it yourself, you’ve come to the right site. This guide to still life photography ideas is trying to inform you what you need to know how to work.


Definition of Still Life Photography

definition still life photography ideas

Still life is a painting or an image comprising of everyday objects with no life of their own when it comes to meaning. Fruits and bowls are some of the basic things use in such a shoot.

What does Still life mean in photography?

Still life is a genre of photography that has been around for many years.

Still life is one of the genres in which you have full control over your objects. It gives you the imaginative ability to regularly express yourself and think creatively before you obtain what you expect.

This genre is a crucial component of photography because it teaches the photographer to learn several of the most basic and essential skills in photography.

This tutorial will further clarify still life photography’s objects and how you can fine-tune your setup to get the perfect results.

What makes successful Still Life Photography

Photo from Instagram @harshasipani

Still life photography involves everything. It’s a non-living object in front of a camera.

A good still life, it seems? It’s a bit harder to define.

It’s all related to the purpose and the meaning. Are your message being expressed?

Is your composition effective, and does it lead the attention of the viewer through the picture?

Is your still life telling a story?

It is by asking these more in-depth questions that we can realize if a photograph is successful.

Still Life Photography is a Learning Opportunity

Photo from Instagram @annet.katan.photography

Because this relates to still life photography, “nothing is moving, and you’re in complete control,” said professional photographer and mentor Ben Long.

“It’s a fantastic challenge for your compositional skills because it’s entirely about form and a pleasing arrangement of forms within the frame. The image needs to be well balanced and have an interesting geometric play. Everything that you’re doing in the frame is guiding the viewer’s eye.”

Ben Long

Types of Still Life Photography

Still life photography contains a list of subcategories. Here are a few of them:

Tabletop Photography

Photo from Instagram @packshotfactory

Tabletop photography is the most basic way of still life photography.

Its category is mostly about capturing objects and can fit onto the table.

The items can be whatever the photographer needs, as long as they are inanimate.

Product Photography

Photo from Instagram @loccitaneaubresil

Product photography is another example. Since it encompasses taking shots of inanimate objects, it considers as a form of still life.

These pictures emphasize creating a suitable image of the product without any interference.

Still life photos are usually more artistically oriented and provide more creative opportunities.

Food Photography

Photo from Instagram @gabrielabarrantesphoto

Food photography is yet another subcategory of still life that profoundly links to product photography.

The primary purpose is to represent food attractively.

Food photography usually includes setting the scene by organizing certain food products and tableware around the object.

Found Object Photography

Photo from Instagram @aljc_photography

Found object art is another form of still life.

Typically it involves modifying an object or putting it in a unique position.

Another example is where the photographer uses daily food objects and balloons to produce surreal pictures.

They also go a step further to keep people view things differently about the item.

The Best Still Life Photography Equipment

Since the objects’ arrangement is an essential component of still life pictures, you wouldn’t need a top-of-the-line camera to begin taking still life images.

You can try experimenting with your current gear.

You only need to have new equipment if you want to start photographing professional pictures. The essential thing is the lighting equipment.

Still Life Photography Lighting

Lighting is of general importance to still life photography. When your subject is an everyday object, lighting is among the best ways to build a mood or visual value to your images.

Light Reflectors

A light reflector is a convenient method of controlling the natural light in your pictures.

The primary light reflector would allow you to start manipulating the natural light in your image without the need for excessive lighting equipment.

If you’re trying to soften some of the shadows, effectively illuminate the subject, or highlight the composition’s textures, light reflectors may help.

Speedlights and Strobes

A Speedlight or a strobe provides your pictures with a more professional touch.

They’re also reliable than strobes and would be more than enough for most still life photographers.

Strobes are more costly, but they give a few more functions, such as built-in light modeling. It will modify the intensity of the light by changing its settings.

Usually, they have built-in modeling lights to determine how to locate the strobe to get the best output.


You should consider obtaining a softbox for shots as you need to prevent harsh shadows.

Softboxes can neutralize light from your flash or strobe into soft, even light.

They also significantly decrease overflow light, and try to direct your light precisely as you want.

The Best Lens for Still Life Photography

You wouldn’t need a wide range of expensive lenses for still life photography. It’s useful to have a few lenses to use, but you definitely won’t need wide-angle lenses.

Close-up and macro lenses are helping you get artistic with your still life perspective.

Telephoto lenses offer you more possibilities to explore your compositions and create dramatic effects. The narrow-angle view provided by the telephoto lenses will allow you to fill the frame with your subject accurately.

The Best Cameras for Still Life Photography

Still life photography provides greater control over the picture.

You don’t need the highest-level camera with functionalities such as heavy-duty weatherproofing.

You’re likely going to shoot indoors and take your time to organize the scene.

Cropped Sensor Cameras

Full-frame cameras are preferable, but that’s less necessary in still life photography.

Several of the cropped sensor cameras’ significant disadvantages are how they influence the lens’s focal length.

Since Still Life photography objects are usually not wide-ranging, this is not as much of an issue.

And since cropped sensor cameras are cheaper, they can give still life photographers the excellent budget option.

Try to read this article if you want to learns more about How to Set Up A Studio Photography here

Still Life Photography Ideas, Tips, and Techniques for Beginner

still life photography tips and techniques

You wouldn’t need a photo studio or a luxurious place to take still life photography.

You can start by using the only area at home, like a table set up near a window, a simple background, and a few lighting.

Still, it’d be best to capture it in an exciting and challenging way if you think creatively.

Choose Still Life Subjects that Speak to You

antique still life photography ideas

You can take any photo you want. Look around the house for something exciting but straightforward.

If something catches your eye, take it home with you or write down a note to remember to try taking photos of it in a still life setting.

Begin with avoiding reflective surfaces, such as glass and metal, to be tricky regarding lighting.

Mix objects of differing shapes, colors, textures, and see what you can create with them.

Get Comfortable with Light and Lighting for Still Life Photography

flower still life photography ideas

You have to use all the light you can get for still life shoots, mostly sunlight.

Find a place where you can prevent all-natural light using shutters or curtains.

The backlight provides exciting shadows, and depth to the picture.

Standard table lamps can do incredibly well if used effectively. Be sure to try various settings for positioning.

A Good Tripod and Work Your Angles

still life photography lighting

If you have adequate lighting, you will need a tripod and a shutter release.

This arrangement allows you to use slower shutter speeds to help your subject to keep its distance from the background. While it still maintaining a narrow aperture to ensure the image focuses on the front of the backing.

A static camera will constrain your creativity, so be aware of changing the angles and heights where you’re trying to shoot.

Try shooting at the subject level or aim a bird’s eye view, looking down at the subject.

Backdrop of Still Life Photography

composition of still life photography

Choosing an appropriate background for your subject matter will play an essential role in your images’ overall success.

It’s best to keep the environment pleasant and straightforward so that it wouldn’t affect your objects.

A plain wall paint, or paper with a single color is perfect.

Consider how your background choice contrasts with the matter. Would you like a neutral background, or are there colors that enhance the shades of your object?

You might not need a backdrop for smaller items, but a surface instead, like black velvet, works well.

Compose the Still Life Photoshoot

objects to photograph at home

Your conceptual aspect is crucial to ensuring that your work is both interactive and unique. 

Think the rule of thirds; how can this be utilized to build a strong composition in your shoot?

There are no diversions inside the frame, just the subject and the background.

Ensure that your subject matter varies throughout the photoshoot.

Take All Day Over It, If You Need

still life photography tips and techniques

There’s no reason not to get it straight since it relates to still life photography.

Unlike a landscape picture, the light doesn’t change quickly, as with a portrait, your subject doesn’t get frustrated with maintaining it on for long durations.

Take the time to get the light and focus on the right thing.

If you can get your hands on one, the macro lens is ideal for this kind of work.

However, if not, try selecting the macro mode on your camera to give you the best chance to capture your subject’s details. It’s going to provide you with a clean, sharp picture.

Get Inspiration from the Still Life Masters

still life photography tips and techniques

Have an online search for Renaissance still life artists and analyze the characteristics of the components.

Learning these paintings will help you think about shapes, shades, and how colors work together.

Develop Your Eye for Still Life Scenes

still life photography ideas odd numbers

Find a quiet day on your routine and allocated some time to train still life photography.

Try with camera angles, light angles, and suitable light sources.

Still life photography doesn’t have to be fruit and flowers! Find an attractive and inspiring object that will make you motivated and begin shooting!

Perfect Your Post-Production Process

composition of still life photography

Photoshop actions give you a very repeatable workflow.

Rather than working through all the steps from the ground, and makes a set of choices for you, you tease and modify to make things better.

You Can Make a Living With Still Life Photography

simple still life photography ideas

Still life photography is popular for photo libraries because it is so simple to provide photos.

You can try selling your images on Envato’s stock photography market, and PhotoDune.

Still life contains many subjects, and many photographers focus on subgenres, especially food photography, product photography, architectural photography, and catalog work are popular.

How to do Still Life Photography: 7 Practical Tips for Beginners

How To Do Still Life Photography Ideas for Beginners

The still life genre has a massive influence on the rest of it; you can do it at home.

You don’t need a photo studio or expensive equipment to get some fantastic photos. Standard home appliances and a little creativity are enough.

Are you not convinced of that? Then check out our 7 tips on how to take pictures of still life.

Imagine Your Picture

Developing a mental vision of your future photo is the essential step of all.

It will help you clarify the feeling you want to deliver to the picture and select the best lighting setup.

Find the Right Light

still life photography ideas for beginners

The right light is an intrinsic aspect of every kind of still life. You’ll find it in the north-facing windows, but also the unexpected corners of your home.

Take note of the exciting gradients of light and shadow, as well as the sharp cones of noonday light.

The days are getting shorter in the winter, and the long nights are coming-but you don’t have to give up. You can also light a photo with a regular desk lamp.

You’re going to have longer exposure times than you would when using studio flashes, so don’t forget the tripod and the remote trigger.

Prepare the Scene

flowers still life photography

Conventional lamps usually produce sharp point lights. You can weaken the light with a diffuser, translucent material, or with baking paper.

Think about an appropriate base and background when you’re preparing your scene.

Try using a variety of grounds, from light foam boards to plexiglass to wooden boards.

Choose Your Props

food still life photography ideas

The variety of objects that you can take is infinite. The traditional props include:

  • eggs,
  • apples,
  • pears,
  • vases,
  • and flowers.

In modern still life, you can use anything except living creatures. For example:

  • cigarette butts,
  • screws and nuts,
  • old or new shoes,
  • or simple geometric shapes.

Take still life photography ideas from American photographer Irving Penn or the Czech avant-garde photographer Jaromír Funke.

Think Through Your Composition

still life photography ideas for beginners

With fewer items, it is simpler to organize a composition.

Your still life must require two objects so that they can correlate. As always, thirds and diagonals remain conventional styles.

Suppose you have time when you’re photographing your still life photography. You can decide in advance how you would be able to crop an image.

Still Life Exposure

composition of still life photography

Try to handle exposure in Manual Mode when you take photos with studio flashes, while you can rely on Shutter Priority and exposure correction for daylight or lamp shots.

When using lamps, the only way to correct your light is to darken the picture or place the lamp further away from the subject.

The exposure time for studio flashes is about 1/125 s, while it tends to be much longer under the lamplight.

Images with long exposure times have an indistinguishable atmosphere. The only equipment you need is a firm tripod and a remote trigger.

Create and Experiment

 still life photography quotes

Your prize for your lengthy planning is the step where you’re no longer concerned with the technical angle; you’re only creating.

And in photography, that’s what comes first, both for still life photography and everything else.

Read our Ultimate Guideline for Couple Photoshoot Ideas, Tips and Technique

10 Creative Still Life Composition Tips For Beginner

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

Learn how to make beautiful still life photography with minimal effort.

Discover creative composition techniques to help you handle your still life objects and learn still life background ideas and lighting tips to give your photos a vintage touch.

Create A Traditional Still Life Composition

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

A conventional still life composition may be anything as common as a few fruit items put together in a bowl.

You can also group different things, like sunflower jars and fruit pieces.

Don’t be hesitant to use weird stuff that you wouldn’t usually use in a still life. If you want objects to group together in still life, strive to work together creatively.

The more things that fit together, the more magical still life looks.

Create A Flat Lay Still Life

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

Flat lay compositions likely to look more contemporary than traditional still life compositions. They’re often more comfortable to create than conventional still life settings, because you’re only shooting down on a single surface.

Substantial-shaped objects are ideal for flat lay compositions because they stand out well when captured from above.

Circles are lovely to work with, for example, plates, bowls, cups, apples, flowers, lemon slices, etc.

Dramatizing the scene with some fabrics and flowers, softens the composition and adds visual appeal to produce a specific mood.

Shoot Close-Ups

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

Close-up photography assists you in capturing the precise detail, pattern, and texture of your subject.

The built-in DSLR camera lens is good at focusing on close-up objects, but make sure you’re not getting too close.

You’ll have to use an add-on macro lens if you’d like to get close. Water droplets are a great way to improve close-up flower or feather pictures.

They add additional visual appeal and make it look that your subject is shooting in nature, in the rain, or the morning dew, rather than in your home.

Choose A Suitable Backdrop

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

Getting a suitable background is essential for still life photos.

The plain white background often works perfectly. A vibrant color or pattern background can fit comfortably, especially if you’d like to make sense of excitement.

Wooden sets also work excellently, so if you have a fantastic wooden table or even a wooden chopping board, be sure to try to use them as a background in your still life photos.

If you’re going to have a dark and moody vibe in your picture, strive to use a black background.

Use Natural Light

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

Most still life photography ideas, correctly perform when illuminated by natural daylight.

The use of artificial light, such as a lamp, can generate unappealing color casts. Having a table set up near a window will allow you to appropriately bathe your object in natural light.

Actively avoid the intense sunlight that shines via the window as it creates harsh shadows.

A reflector provides you more control of light’s direction and how the shades look likely in the picture. You can purchase photography reflectors, but it’s simple to make your own with a piece of card or board.

For a softer light, shoot a gloomy day or a lightly shaded area, such as cloudy weather.

Use a silver or white reflector to bounce the window’s light back to the subject’s unlit side to brighten up any dark, shadowy places. It’s perfect for making dark and moody still life photography.

Apply The Rule Of Thirds

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

The rule of thirds is all about centering your focal point off-center. Placing main objects off-center creates a more pleasing composition that feels natural and balanced.

Generally, the rule of thirds produces acceptable arrangements, but sometimes breaking the rule yields substantial results.

The rule of thirds allows you to experiment before committing to a final layout.

In many cases, the rules of thirds will help you create a balanced and pleasing composition.

Use The Rule Of Odds

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

The rule of odds of objects will create a more exciting and eye-catching picture.

These “rules” are only guidelines, and it’s perfectly acceptable to use even numbers of items.

When working with multiple still life objects, you may sometimes realize that it is much easier to organize an odd number of things into an appealing composition.

Create A Gentle Flow

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

When creating a dynamic composition, keep in mind the concept of “flow.”

You can use a few objects in your scene to make a gentle flow via the picture.

Its simple five-leaf composition is precious. It attracts the brown plate naturally from the green leaf. Consider string or ribbon items that you can curl and wrap around the scene.

It’s a certainty to make more exciting and creative pictures.

Include Negative Space

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

A negative space surrounds your subject; instead of using many objects, try simplifying the scene.

The negative space composition increases the strength of your item. It also generally makes your still life photography calmer.

Explicit images are usually the most compelling and try to keep it simple, and include a lot of space around the object.

Experiment With Shooting Angle

Composing Still Life Photography Ideas

A simple change in the camera angle can make a big difference to still life photography.

Try to get closer to capturing more detail. Move away to obtain the object in its surroundings.

Shoot from straight up, low down, high up, and from different sides.

As you shoot, keep reviewing the photos to get an idea of what’s going on and what’s not.

10 Creative Object Ideas For Still Life Photography

Still life photography is a popular genre where you can photograph one or more inanimate items using a simple tabletop and window light.

So, what are the practical uses of still life photography? Find 10 exciting objects in this article so that you can begin proceeding with your still life photography ideas.


Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

Flowers are among the most popular still life photography objects ideas.

They are beautiful, delicate, and available in many colors and varieties.

Flowers is an excellent subject to start in the world of still life photography. To creates a calmer mood with a light and delicate touch by using a white background and pale-colored flowers.

Shooting extreme close-ups that capture the petals’ intricate texture is another right way to take photos of flowers.

Shoot from above or experiment with color combinations to produce different flower arrangements. See what beautiful images you can create by picking flowers from your garden or buying flowers from the store.


Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

There are many methods to take photos of food, so think creatively about composing your images.

One option is to use raw ingredients, particularly with vibrant colors.

Another option is to record the various cooking stages of a meal.

Do you want to include the surroundings, such as cutlery and other table decorations?

Every detail makes a big difference in food photography, so consider carefully about the details.

Household Objects

Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

Sometimes, you can turn almost any household object into a stunning still life subject.

Find items with unique shapes, colors, patterns, and textures. Your kitchen often provides excellent opportunities for your still life photography.

Take more notice of the daily objects you use at home. Contemplate how you could use them to convey a particular moment in your day.

Stationery & Art Materials

Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

Art materials generally have colorful and robust geometrical shapes that make them perfect for abstract and minimalist photography.

You’ve certainly got a few pencils, paperclips, or other stationery items lying around, even if you don’t have any art materials.

The trick is to experiment with various combinations of objects and assemble them in multiple ways until you obtain an artistic-looking still life.

Vintage Items

Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

Vintage objects like antiques, lamps, clocks, and so on can invoke beautiful nostalgia feelings.

Old books, postcards, or handwritten letters might be useful as props.

It’s easy to find in charity shops, antique shops, and car boot sales if you don’t own any vintage items.


Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

When taking photographs of jewelry, a plain background makes the delicate design stand out.

Think about the kind of light you’re shooting in before you try to shoot. It can create a gorgeous glow that looks incredibly amazing on gold by the right amount of reflection.

It is essential to try new things by diffusing the light to get just the correct amount on your subject.

You can use a curtain or a piece of fabric to diffuse a window or a lamp.

Tools & Garden Equipment

Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

You can produce unique still life photography using a garden shed or workshop tools and equipment. These types of objects have exciting shapes and textures.

Think carefully about the background you’re using in these types of pictures.

Flat lay composition works well when photographing tools, but for larger items, use a traditional still life setup.

Ensure you exclude any distracting objects from your shot if you are taking pictures in a shed.


Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

You could use many objects for still life photography, since nature has many unusual things.

Make sure to take out your add-on macro lens before you leave.

Macro lenses allow you to capture beautiful close-up photos of nature, revealing details and texture.

Found Objects

Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

Photoshoot in nature can be a challenge, particularly for still life photography. You can have exposure problems if the light is too bright or too dim.

Shells and feathers make excellent props to accessorize still life photography ideas.

When you discover an object like a feather or leaf, bring it home to shoot it in different conditions.

You can use a water spray bottle to attach some tiny water droplets to the objects to give the impression that you’ve photographed the item outdoors after rain or in the morning dew.

Other Outdoor Subjects

Subjects of Still Life Photography Ideas

There are plenty of inanimate objects, and you can shoot them outdoors.

Bicycles are making fantastic subjects because of their shape and color.

Abandoned and decayed buildings are excellent good sites for still life picture opportunities.

Rust and peeling paint provide splendid possibilities to capture beautiful colors and textures in your still life photography. Do not forget to concentrate on the smaller details as well.

Still Life Painting Examples

Still Life Painting Examples

Food Still Life Photography Ideas

Food Still Life Photography Ideas
Food Still Life Photography Ideas

Where do still life photography ideas end and also food photography begin? It is difficult to respond to. Numerous photos in this post have food photographs, but they likewise fit the criteria for still life photography ideas.

To sum up the method of still life photography ideas, We think that simple, intense, uncomplicated photos always work best. Do not over-stress over styling, as well as opt for influence. The guideline concerning whether you must add an element to your picture is ‘if doubtful, leave it out.’ Be vibrant. When you start looking for points to picture, you will shock yourself regarding where you locate elegance.

Abstract Still Life Photography Ideas

abstract still life photography ideas

Amazing ! Still Life Photography Examples to Inspire You !

Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas
Amazing Still Life Photography Ideas

Ever since the inception of photography itself, still life photography has remained in vogue. And with the innovation of modern cameras, you can currently have higher control over the lighting, mood, and composition of your photos, thereby producing fantastic still-life photography masterpieces.

Still life photography ideas as a type of art take a good deal of understanding and also experience. You require to understand the art of significantly carefully picking objects, the lighting, and other variations. Technical terms aside, we have assembled a gallery of some still life photography ideas examples, for you to value. Be Inspire!

Let’s try other photography ideas here Ultimate Guide How to Birthday Photoshoot At Home

And Ultimate Guide of Creative Portrait Photography Ideas, Poses, and Tips

Conclusion of Still Life Photography Ideas

Never Ever Stop Learning !

As the earliest of photographic practices, still life has a rich and also exceptionally differed history.

There’s no end to inspiration, as well as no end to the understanding you can do simply by engaging the globe around you with your camera.

Keep photoshoot and make a wonderful still life photography ideas.

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